THE SA Football Association (Safa) Referees Review Committee has come out in support of referee Victor Hlungwani on how he handled the Mamelodi Sundowns versus Kaizer Chiefs match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on Sunday, which the visitors won 2-0.
The committee on Tuesday emphatically stated the goal was legitimate and that Hlungwani was correct in awarding the goal, which has created headlines with "some pundits and Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane insisted that Chiefs’ opening goal by Samir Nurkovic was offside".
“During the match, when Frosler played the ball into the opponents’ penalty area, both Chiefs’ Leonardo Castro and Nurkovic were not in an offside position. Sundowns’ Musa Lebusa and Chiefs’ Castro jumped to head the ball but both missed it,” explained Safa.
“Castro neither played nor touched the ball from his team-mate, Frosler and this is evidenced by the fact that the ball never changed direction nor the trajectory,” added the Committee.
“Nurkovic who was not in an offside position when the ball was initially played by his team-mate Frosler and that Castro did not make contact with the ball, the Assistant Referee was correct in not flagging for offside, based on fact connected with Law 11 (Offside).
“It then stand to reason that Nurkovic scored a legitimate goal. It would have been a different decision had his team-mate Castro played or touched the ball, then the goal would have been disallowed in that instance,” concluded the Committee findings.
Quoting the Laws of the Game 2019/20 Edition (page 99), the Committee articulated the proceedings leading to the goal that Downs disputed.
According to Law 11 (Offside): “A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:
interfering with play by playing or touching a ball passed or touched by a team-mate…” read part of the Law.